Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


What's the difference between Widget and Shortcut in Win8?

  1. #1

    What's the difference between Widget and Shortcut in Win8?


    Hello,

    we read that Windows 8 has metro UI and it operates upon Widgets.

    However, I am confused about widgets and desktop shortcut. What is the difference between these two? What will happen if I create a desktop shortcut of my application? Will it be a widget? Or widget will be something different like Start Up menu option?

    Thanks in Advance.

    Regards,
    Nishant Desai

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Hello there!

    I think you mean live tiles, not widgets. The difference here between a Desktop tile and a metro, live tile is that first off, they're two DIFFERENT type of apps. One is an immersive, full screen although able to be snapped with another app. The other resides on the Desktop. A live tile is kind of like how Desktop gadgets worked, they offered a sometimes live stream of data, but took up system resources. A live tile on a metro app doesn't take up any system resource and updates whenever it detects new data. For example, it checks to see if there is a weather update. There is, and the live tile refreshes, all while in the background and not affecting system use or resource.

    A Desktop tile shortcut is whenever you install a program, right click on either a hard drive, folder, Library, or a Control Panel item and hit Pin to Start from the Desktop. It makes a new tile, with the icon in the center of the new tile. Clicking on this just opens that Desktop program or item up in the Desktop. These are not live.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Hello Coke,

    Thanks for the quick response.

    I understood your point and that really makes sense.

    However, my question is "What does it mean by widget on Win 8 desktops" as claimed in various Win 8 sites? Or may be I have understood it wrong. Let me explain by taking a case here.

    PFA the picture attached here with which displays Win 8 desktop. On a desktop, there is a control to access Internet Explorer just as it used to be in Windows menu (its not a desktop shortcut for sure). My question is, "Is this a widget?" or Widget is something that is displayed for "Weather Update" on the same screen?

    Picture:

    My actual concerns is: "I have a software developed in my company which company wants to deploy on Win 8. However, I am not sure about how user can access it if there is no Start menu. So, will I have to generate a Widget (or live tile[possibly No]) for desktop through which user can access it? Or will it again be a desktop shortcut like other Windows system?"

    Thanks in Advance.

    Regards,
    Nishant Desai
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Oh yes, that there is a live tile on Windows 8's Start Screen. In a way, they're kind of like widgets, but they're apps and they have usually live tiles. Some of those apps don't, but most do. Those live tiles, or widgets, can ONLY be accessed and seen on the Start Screen, which is basically the new start menu of Windows 8.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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